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Giving Tuesday and Why it's Important

Today, December 1st 2015, is Giving Tuesday!

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I am starting to get a little burnt out on ‘Days’. But when I really stopped to think about it, a lot clicked for me. It’s all because of the internet and social media! Think about it:

We're bombarded by so much information every second of everyday. So much so, that it is difficult to keep track of everything! For myself, I have to keep several lists and calendars to keep up with everything and I still miss things. With everything going on in our lives and online we tend to forget to pause, see how far we’ve come and appreciate what we have. Especially this time of year.

This time of year is all about buying gifts and spending time with family and friends. It is also the time of year that people are at their most generous! With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s too easy be overwhelmed about everything. This is where Giving Tuesday comes in!

It’s literally a day to give! It’s a day you can mark down and set reminders for! It doesn't have to be money, it can be time (volunteering), etc. It is a day to lend a helping hand, wherever it’s needed. You give, you feel good, rinse and repeat! If doughnuts get two separate Days, why not have one for giving?

For more information about Giving Tuesday go here:

http://givingtuesday.ca/

http://www.givingtuesday.org/

What are your favourite “Days”? Mine is “Cat Hearders Day”(December 15)

12 Gift Ideas for a Luvly Holiday

Black Friday is upon us!

The holidays are coming!

For most, the holidays mean spending time with family and friends, exchanging gifts and having a great time. Others it's a stressful time filled with nothing but misery and regret. We hope that it's the first one for all of you.

Here at Luv. we believe that love is the driver of all great stories. So in order to showcase our lovely gifts, we are going to tell some of the designer's stories! We hope to inspire you to pick gifts that not only look great, but have an interesting story behind them.

Grow Luv. Set

Sierra founded Lovewild Design after years of working unsatisfying jobs in search of her passions: sustainability and creating. All Lovewild's products (sustainable stationery, gifts and more) are handmade in New York City out of raw materials manufactured in the US from wind powered mills. Each Grow Luv. set consists of an antique tea cup and saucer (which are found around the East Coast then restored) and plant-able paper which is created by taking recycled junk mail, adding seeds to a paper pulp and pressing it through a fine mesh screen.

If you are looking for a unique and thoughtful gift that is also handmade out of sustainable and recycled materials then the Grow Luv. Set is perfect!

Luv. Birds Candles

Founded by husband and wife duo, Jenifer and Don Green and their production leader, Juliette Consigny, Greentree Home Candles creates candles made from 100% pure beeswax. Each candle starts off as slabs of raw wax that have to be broken into pieces and melted to an exact temperature. Next, their top secret dye recipes are measured and added and the wax is poured into the mold where it cures. After being cured, it is hand finished, wrapped up and ready for use!

Greentree Home’s beautiful and unique Luv. Birds would make a beautiful addition to your holiday decor, as they add a lovely ambiance to any room.

Large Lots of Luv. Cup

To pursue her passion, Nicole Aquillano attended Rhode Island School of Design and earned her MFA in ceramics. Nicole Aquillano’s creative process consists of drawing subtle narratives in porcelain to evoke feelings of nostalgia. Each piece is designed and hand-made using the technique of turning plaster positives on a pottery wheel. This technique is a long process with many steps, but the end product is a beautiful, sustainable, and unique gift for any occasion!

Nicole Aquillano's porcelain Lots of Luv mugs are perfect for those who like modern twists on a timeless classic. Also available in a smaller size.

Summer Luv. Scarf 

Caron Miller started designing and creating her own clothing after receiving her first sewing machine at the age of 10. Still passionate about fashion and design today,  Miller’s beautiful designs focus on themes of empowerment and self-worth for their wearers. Each of her pieces are designed by Miller and hand-crafted domestically to provide her customers with the finest quality goods.

Caron Miller’s Limited Edition Summer Luv. Scarf would make a beautiful gift for anyone who wants to be reminded of the warm summer on those extra cold winter days.

In order of appearance: Luv. Calm Ring, Luv. Elegance RingLuv. Present Ring, Moonstone Ring, Luv. Brightness Ring

Luv. Calm RingLuv. Present RingLuv. Brightness Ring

Having realized her lifelong dream of designing and crafting exquisite jewelry, Ariela Zaidman now designs and hand makes her own line of beautiful jewelry pieces in Mexico City using a wax technique she adjusts to fit her needs. Each piece is carefully designed, molded, cast, polished and plated making a high-quality, unique piece.

Ariela’s Luv. Calm Ring, Luv, Brightness Ring and her Luv. Present Ring would make the perfect gift for someone who likes simple, yet unique jewelry.

Luv. Elegance RingMoonstone Ring

Since 2007, Mia Lara has been using semi-precious stones from India and a mixture of textured metal to create bold and elegant jewelry. She merges they contemporary, timeless and organic in her signature style.

Mia Lara’s pieces capture the asymmetrical beauty of nature, making them the perfect gift for those who appreciate a less conventional beauty.

19" Reclaimed Luv. Bowl

Stinson Studios is a two-generation family business that creates beautiful, hand-crafted wood bowls. The wood comes from beetle infested trees that would otherwise go to waste.  Those beetles are what create the "spaulting" – the discoloration in the wood, creating the patterns that the bowls are famous for! Stinson Studios also ages the logs and burls(tree lumps) used in their products for up to a year to enhance the natural colors and patterns of the tree.

Our Reclaimed Luv. bowls make great housewarming gifts as well as great gifts for those hosting holiday events. They are available in sizes 11", 14" and 17".

Nature Luv. Stones + Dish

Using sustainable materials found in Indonesia such as reclaimed wood, driftwood, lava, natural river stones, recycled glass and bamboo roots Garden Age Supply creates beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces that make perfect decorations for your home. Garden Age Supply enables the local women from Indonesia to use their talents in design and production to provide for their families.

Our Nature Luv. Dish + Stones are the perfect gift for someone who wants to tastefully decorate their home using ethical, sustainable pieces. The stones are also sold individually.

Simple Luv. Vase

Beth Mueller combines old pottery making techniques with modern narratives to create high quality pieces. Each piece starts out as pages and pages of ideas and sketches until a final concept is decided upon. She then moves onto fabrication, which is done using a technique called "slip casting". After the pieces are formed, they are fired in a kiln three separate times to a temperature around 2000 degrees. They are decorated in layers. The final layer is a clear glaze which seals everything. The entire process takes around 3 weeks from start to finish.

Beth Mueller’s Simple Luv. Vase would make the perfect gift for someone who like simple, tasteful decor.

In order of appearance(Left to Right): Gem Luv. Necklace, Gem Luv. Earrings 

Inspired by her love of the ocean, Philippa Roberts creates simple, organic, high quality pieces of sterling silver jewelry. Her pieces have been featured in art museums such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the DeYoung Museum and the Museum of Art and Design in New York City.

Philippa Roberts’ Gem Luv. Necklace and Gem Luv. Earrings would make the perfect gift for anyone who loves jewelry and is looking for true pieces of art to have as their own.

Sergio Black Tie

Érik Fürer, the owner of Swell Fellow, works closely with his mother to hand-make beautiful and unique ties. Inspired by history and art from a young age, Érik Fürer took it upon himself to learn a wide-range of creative pursuits(sewing, drawing, sculpting, painting, etc). This experience has allowed him to design and produce his ideas from start to finish.

Products from Swell Fellow would make the perfect gift for someone who is looking for stylish accessories that are also true pieces of art.

In order of appearance(Left to Right): Sweet Tart Hold on to Luv. Ring Holder, Green + Blue Global Luv Vase, Bombay Lime Hold on to Luv. Ring Holder

Jill H. Davis, the owner of Henrietta Glass, strives to create pieces of functional art suitable for regular people. Davis creates, tests and refines each of her ideas. Once she is satisfied with the design, Davis teaches her team how to create that piece. All the shaping for Henrietta Glass products is done by eye and by hand using a variety of tools and techniques in Davis’ Rhode Island studio.

Our Hold onto Luv. Ring Holders and Global Luv. Vase are the perfect gift for someone looking for a functional, yet beautiful piece for their home.

In order of appearance(Left to Right): Finger-Less Knit Mittens, DIY Puppy Puppet Making Kit

Finger-Less Knit Mittens

Since 1993, Patricia and Javier Dam, two free spirited, hard working, passionate people, have been running the Peruvian Trading Company which has been producing beautiful, handmade, sustainable products that provide jobs for the talented rural Peruvians. This gives these (mostly) women and men a source of income that allows them to hone their skills, work from home and care for their families.

Their Finger-less Mittens would make a great gift for someone who is looking for products that are ethically made and fair trade, but will also keep them warm this winter.

DIY Puppy Puppet Making Kit

Josh Title founded Cate & Levi due to the lack of unique, consciously made products for children. They recycle textiles into one of a kind and responsibly made products for young ones. Furthermore, because he wants to set a good example for his children, he donates a percentage of Cate & Levi's profits to help children in need.

This is a great environmentally conscious gift for children that is sure to create lasting memories.

Which ever one(s) you celebrate this time of year, we hope you have (a) Happy Holiday(s)!  What gifts do you think have the most meaning?

 

Reinforcing Optimism: 8 Simple Steps to Start Your Day

Reinforcing Optimism:  Simple Steps to Start Your Day

This is not really news, but life is stressful!  On top of juggling career, finances, family and everything in between, we are constantly bombarded with negative messages and feedback from the world around us.

As someone who is highly sensitive to this negativity, I have to work hard to be an optimist living in what seems to be an extremely pessimistic world.  Like I spoke of in our previous blog (How to Connect with your Inner Optimist) you have to believe that optimism is a choice.  

For me, starting the day off right makes all the difference between having a good day or a bad day. I have a morning routine that I follow to help me remain centered and focused on optimism.  

Having an optimisic attitude is a choice.

Time

Being un-rushed is vital for me. I do not like rushing; it is a huge stress-or for me. So I make it a priority to get up early enough to do my routine.

Smile

The first thing I do when I open my eyes is smile. I sometimes force it if I have too.  A smile, forced or not, signals  your brain to release all those happy brain chemicals, thus making you happy! The more you smile (even if you have to force it at first) the more natural and true it will become to you.

Intention

Meditate on my intention for the day.  I focus on an inspirational idea for the day (e.g. happiness, love, respect, gratitude, etc.). This gives me something to focus on, no matter what is going on throughout my day. Taking a few minutes to focus on my breathing (big, belly breaths) along with my intention for the day has worked wonders for me! I am calmer, more focused and not as rattled by surprises. I like to do it in complete silence, but it can be done while listening to ambient music. Just remember to focus on your breathing and your intent for at least 4 minutes.

focus on an inspirational idea for the day (e.g. happiness, love, respect, gratitude, etc.)

Stretching

Just a little bit of stretching to get the blood flowing will go a long way starting your morning off feeling awake and motivated. Exercise is an activity that releases endorphins, thus making me feel better about everything in general.  It can be yoga, running on the spot, squats, arm circles, whatever you want for at least 10 min to get your heart pumping! I like to change it up every once in awhile.

Making My Bed

Making my bed in the morning is a small task that makes a big difference. It helps me create some order in the world, as it is something I can easily control and keep in check. Plus after a grueling day of using all my willpower to stay optimistic, having a neat bed to collapse into is a wonderful reward.

Drink a Glass of Warm Water with a Slice of Lemon

Drinking lemon water in the morning is a simple way to give your immune system a boost, balance those ph levels, flush out toxins and keep your skin looking fresh. Just one glass will help keep you healthy and happy.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

You've heard this one before but it is true! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Being optimistic is much easier on a full stomach, as I get surly when I am hungry. Plus having a good breakfast in the morning ensures that I am giving my body the nutrients it needs to function throughout the day.

 Again, this is what I do to stay optimistic. Yes, I have to force myself to do it from time to time. But I know that it is worth it to start the day off calm, centred and ready to see my "daily intention" in all that I do.

I know that this routine won’t work for everyone, but the goal here is to just share some ideas on setting up your own routine.  Remember that your heart is your greatest asset; nothing is ever 100% perfect. In those times I adopt a "fake it until you make it" attitude which helps to get me back on track.  

What is your morning routine? 


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